tv The Civil War Impact of Pre- Civil War Events CSPAN January 13, 2018 2:04pm-4:01pm EST
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television companies. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. next on american history tv, historians discuss the social and political impact of several events leading up to the civil war. including the fugitive slave act and abolitionist john brown's raid on a federal armory at harper's fairy. erry. this was part of yale university's gilder lehrman center for the study of slavery, resistance, and abolition. >> this was the most fun to , deciding which events, which problems, which moments of the pre-civil war era would we represent. said, thisanna and is one you should moderate. speak on no, i want to
it. [laughter] which is great. hook herst trying to into being moderator. the shock of events. the passage by douglas at the nation, the way he put it, not educated by theory, they are taught by events. we all know, we lived through events that no one predicts. who predicted pearl harbor? some people, sort of. who predicted the end of the cold war in 89? 9/11? last year's election? other events? that shock us and make us reposition in relation to them? events like this, throughout history.
people always generally find themselves unprepared. we historians and other scholars often think, if they knew more history, they would be prepared. we are just as shocked as anyone else and we think we know something. this is a great panel. i will introduce these people as quick as i can starting with richard. he is one of the oldest friends i have in this business. he came to the first professional paper i gave. he has heard me do this before. it was at a conference in onladelphia, i gave a paper a man named smith and he said, not bad. want to have a drink? that is where our friendship began. richard is the andrew jackson ,rofessor of american history he had to be at this hot conference. [laughter]
he was at oxford when i was at cambridge and we got to do some journeys together around scotland. we even had a debate in belfast. put together by catherine clinton, the indomitable. we had to draw straws. how were the slaves freed? one of us had to argue lincoln freed them and the other had to argue that the slaves freed themselves and we drew straws. i got lincoln. [laughter] the audience got to vote. we thought the whole thing was crazy. then we got into it and started fighting like hell. he won by three votes. [laughter] i have never forgiven that crowd. afterward, i played the race card on you.
[laughter] he did. [laughter] enough of that. he has written 87 books. sorry. richard taught us more frankly than anyone who is ever written about this, about black leadership in pre-civil war america, about black abolitionists, etc. his most recent book is, making freedom. he wrote the wonderful book called, divided hearts, britain and america's civil war. he wrote, black civil war correspondent. and then books on black leaders back in the 1980's, beating against the barriers. wall,ng an anti-slavery
african-americans in the abolitionist movement. richard was educated at the undergraduate and regiment level in england. he was in manchester. theill speak on lessons of 1850 fugitive slave law, which is a soft title. richard is about to publish next spring? yes. book on fugitive slaves and the underground railroad and the border region of the united states. the deepest thing anyone has ever done on that subject. it will change how we think about it, to say the least. is professorson, the alexander professor of history at ball state university. she has taught at el paso, south dakota, her phd in indiana.
you have to be careful with these things. at least no one is from ohio state university. actually, yes they are. [laughter] university.te blah, anyway. midwesterner? >> yes. >> good. her book that makes her so relevant to this panel and conference is called, a generation at war, the civil war era in the northern communities. she has also written, by the way it won the craven apprise, a very important prize. she has also written essays on local history. nicole, welcome.
jackson didarter her ba at howard. howard is a big place. she did her ba at howard and her andat columbia university , you were atng hunter college? now it is wellesley. interests are slavery and emancipation, particularly violence. her book also under contract entitled, press, is god, my eyes have not seen the glory, called it, force and freedom, the politics of violence. she has co-edited a book with called, remembering
roots, race, politics and memory since 1970. finally joanne freeman, my colleague here at yell. known for many things, -- my colleague here at yale university. joann'sr many things, comments are well known. joann went to uva. , she is theva author of, affairs of honor, national politics in the new republic. she is also the editor of the essential hamilton from the library of america and the alexander hamilton writings collection also by the library of america. she is involved in all kinds of things hamilton.
her new book out next spring, fall. it is called, the field of blood, congressional violence and the road to the civil war. this session is about 80 events that shocked americans and let's go richard you are first. richard: these introductions. it is a pleasure to be invited by frederick douglass's grandson. [laughter] you missed a great line in the paper. [laughter]
>> go on. richard: when i first came to yale university to give a talk many years ago, tom, the recorder of the history of these things, the history by taking photographs. he is now doing twitter. where have we gone wrong? [laughter] i don't know. i have no answer. lessons of the 1850 fugitive slave law. when henry claire rose on the senate floor in 1852 propose a new compromise, he expressed the balmthat it would act as a to soothe his distracted and unhappy country that stood on the edge of a dangerous political precipice. one suspects, given his experience and involvement in an earlier compromise, must have
felt a tinge of uncertainty about his plans'efficacy. the one that generated the most political heat was the akoni and fugitive slave law which nationalized the recapture of runaway slaves, creating a new semi-judicial system for cases of rendition led by commissioners whose rulings were final and not subject to appeal. the accused were not allowed to testify, nor were they permitted legal counsel, and were to be returned under heavy guard, the cost borne by the national treasury. advocates not trials, insisted and so did not involve the right to habeas corpus or a jury of their peers. steep penalties were imposed on
those who aided fugitive slaves on those whopture, refused when requested to help authorities to retake a slave. even more troubling was the fact that the law was not governed by any statutes of limitation. a fugitive who had lived for years as a free woman, started a family and became a pillar of the community was always liable to be retaken. opponents of the law questioned whether congress had the power to enact such a law. under the constitution, renditions were determined between states. if the law was meant to ease tension between slave and free states, opponents predicted, it would have the opposite effect. if it is true, that laws can only gain legitimacy by being
assented to by all they wish to bind, then this law was doomed to failure. not only did it pander to slave interests, it violated bedrock interests of jurisprudence. slave owners insisted that on the passage of its enforcement rested the future of the union. by nationalizing the system of recapture, every effort to retake an escapee created deep political crisis in the communities. the law seemed designed to borrow a phrase from toni morrison, to authorize political chaos in the defense of order. meant to stem the flow of escapes, it was a failure. the slaves continue to escape in increasing numbers especially from the border states. one editor observed on the eve of the civil war that fugitive
slaves were the driving force behind the underground railroad. the presence in northern communities necessitated the creation of mechanisms of defense by those opposed to slavery and the law. told his former master, he had decided to make his feet feel for canada and to make you feel it in your pocket. the law was widely denounced by opponents. black communities in the north led the charge and vowed to resist the enforcement at all costs. delaney in pittsburgh made it clear that his house was his castle and any slave catcher who dared to cross the threshold must be prepared to die. i'm in the presence of david so i have to include a frederick douglass quote.
frederick douglas declared, "the best way to limit the effects of the law was to kill two or three slave catchers." hundreds of meetings were called throughout the north to denounce the law. at the end of summer these gatherings and committees were formed to protect former slaves living in these communities and to help fugitive slaves reach safety. the governor of virginia was surprised by the widespread opposition which he insisted was received as if it was a proclamation of an invading foe. it was. the law also disrupted the lives of former slaves living in northern communities. 200 sprint just before fillmore at sign the bill into law -- before fillmore signed the bill. a local editor was surprised to discover as a result of the exodus, how many black residents
of the city were fugitive slaves. the same occurred elsewhere. thomas, ofike henry buffalo, who had escaped from nashville with the aid of his thenr, in 1834 and since had become a leading figure in the city. in the months after the law was an active, thomas closed his barbershop and moved his family to buxton in canada. if the law was meant to soothe a distracted country as they hoped, such widespread opposition only deepened political tension. worried about the potential of a rupture, james cooper, the pennsylvania whig who had voted for the log reluctantly, spoke for many when he called for a cessation of agitation. he pleaded that harmony and good feeling between the different sections of the union could be restored.
if many of the compromised advocates sought as a last chance to keep the country together, it was clear within a matter of weeks that they had seriously miscalculated the effects. even before the vote was taken, one tennessee senator wondered how the agreement could be considered a compromise. how many northern senators, he asked rhetorically, had voted against admitting california as a free state? how many from the south had voted in favor of banning the slave trade in washington dc? he was right. this was not a compromise. it was an appeasement of the south. thishaos created by morally indefensible law points in the direction of political considerations. in response to the mandate, germane logan, a fugitive from
tennessee, declared syracuse a safe city, his words, from which no fugitive would be taken. he and local opponents of the law proved to the point weeks later when jerry henry, a fugitive from missouri was captured and brought before the local commissioner. logan and a handful of others stormed the hearing, rescued daniel and sent him to canada. in the weeks before the rescue, daniel webster the secretary of state, had informed an audience of syracuse supporters, that opposition to the law was treason, his words, and would be dealt with accordingly. by the action, logan and the others, had thumbed their noses at the authorities and declared syracuse a sanctuary city. i should add, in the wake of the rescue, logan thought it best to go to canada. [laughter] for a little while.
his colleague who had participated in the rescue, samuel ward, never returned to the united states. no fugitive was returned from the city in the years leading to the civil war, even when logan publicly announced, as he frequently did, housing a number of fugitive slaves at his home. he made this public in the newspaper and invited people to come to his home to meet the fugitive slaves. this puts new meaning to the idea of a century city. there are -- of a sanctuary city. in there echoes today immigration law by providing a safe space to those in the country legally. northern opponents made it clear
that it would be legal and unpatriotic, bordering on revolutionary. nativism,e of rising benjamin curtis, who would soon be elevated to the supreme court, told a meeting in boston that states have the rights to protect themselves. they had a right to limit the entry of immigrants, such as the irish, who he argued, were ground down by the oppression of england. hadhe same token, states endorsed the fugitive clause of the constitution, because a guarantee what he called, incalculable benefits. it was an act of what he calls self-preservation, similarly, fugitive slaves, he went on to say, had no right to be here. our peace and safety, they have no right to invade. whatever natural rights they have, i admit those natural
rights to their fullest extent, this is not the place, the soil, on which to vindicate them. this is our soil. sacred to arby's on which we intend -- sacred to our peace. springs took a slightly different approach. why it free blacks were welcomed, the city must turn our backs on fugitive slaves. he was pleased to see they were leaving new york in droves after passage of the law. to borrow a phrase from a recent election, they were self deporting. such foundations that indiana and illinois built their policies of black exclusion. by the actions, those in circles counted such arguments, by widening the soil of safety, and in doing so, asserted their
rights to full citizenship. similarly, the absence of alonges of limitation, is with wider political lessons. a mother of six was accused of escaping from maryland 25 years earlier. she was freed after a lengthy hasing but many asked, how someone who have been a well-known figure in the community and had lived an exemplary life could be dragged before a commissioner on what scantonly be considered, evidence. they could not even demonstrate that the woman in the hearing room was the same person who had fled the plantation. like the illegal immigrants was lived in this country many years and has established a life for
their self and family, williams was still liable to be expelled. williams was fortunate. others were returned to slavery after similar years of freedom. another question raised by the williams case has a modern resonance. what's would have become of her children, all of whom were born in pennsylvania, had she been returned to maryland? would williams have been separated from her children? his wife maryn, and daughter caroline, were caught in columbia, pennsylvania, not long after the williams case and brought to a hearing in harrisburg where the commissioner ruled in favor of the claimant, even though as one report put it, the family child, bornsuckling in pennsylvania. the young child was separated from its parents.
not so in the case of the thompson family, which included a child born in pennsylvania. they were taken back to maryland without a hearing as permissible under the fugitive slave law. the governor of pennsylvania insisted they had been kidnapped and issued nexan extradition. he consulted the attorney general on the merits of the request. recommending rejection, the attorney general reasoned that the issue was not that the child was born in a free state and so was free, but that she was born of a slave woman and so inherited the status of the mother. any state law such as pennsylvania's, which had the right to the incident or natural increase of the fugitive property, was consequently no and avoid as it sought to deny
the right to the property itself. it is always dangerous to make parallels over such a broad there are some disturbing lessons to be learned from the history of the law that produced such profound social and political turmoil. the reconciliation that clay and other supporters of the law had anticipated were dashed within weeks. the authorities persevered, determined the law had to be enforced. slave masters took every opportunity to reclaim their lost property. the result was a sustained political dispute. not only did those opposed to the log resist its enforcement, but many northern states enacted laws to limit the reach of the federal laws, and in so doing
worse and political tensions. vermont went a step -- went a step further by guaranteeing the right of trial by jury of suspected fugitives. stated that such guarantees were based on a recognition that suspected fugitive slaves were, and this is his words, citizens, and should be treated as such. such sustained resistance to the implementation of the law goes some ways to explain the coming of the civil war. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am happy to be here today.
i get to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is the significance of black women. i think it is important to state this because i had a student who recently asked me, who is harriet tubman, again? i was shocked. he said, oh yeah, she is the woman who would not get off the bus. clearly we had some work to do. [laughter] jackson: john brown's raid on harpers ferry is a familiar story with an antebellum history. grouprown let a small into virginia with the goal of igniting a slave rebellion during the goal was to capture the federal army located in harpers ferry, capture as many as possible and overthrow the institution of slavery. defeated by quickly
the state militia and john brown and his comrades were charged with treason. many historians see john brown's rain -- raid as the final -- often missing from the energy of is the importance of black leadership. john brown cannot it become the radical abolitionist he is known for had he not chosen to take inspiration from the militant black figures around him. to understand black activism and contributions in dismantling slavery is to de- center john brown from the ferry,ve of harpers which is often portrayed as a fanatical white man's bleeding heart. sidelineds about the black leaders who have been pushed to the periphery of the movement to end slavery. what might it due to envision follower ofs a
black revolutionary violence who put black radicalism into practice. what might it due to centralize the significance of black women's contribution to the raid. how can we pivot our understanding of radical abolition of them away from -- abolitionism away from white leaders to a movement that situation lack women at the center of change. how do we see black radical firmly amongd -- black abolitionists themselves. black americans are responding to their impression and taking the lead on political violence in 1850's. you think of william and harriet parker and their resistance, you think of the successful rescue at syracuse, new york, you can think of lewis hayden and the murder of the u.s. marshal and so many other historic, heroic
stories. john brown wanted to be a part of this. brown ofk men told their changing attitudes and methods to combat slavery, john brown encourage them with the maxim that said trust god and keep your powder dry. it is important to know that there are few if any degrees of separation among major black leaders. black leaders were in constant discussion over strategy, need, they met together, ate together, prayed together, and protected one another. they were friends, family, and fans. frederick douglas sheltered william parker in his home. douglas named his son after charles vermont. ward was living in syracuse during the rest you and helped
file jerry's manacles off his body. he participated in the raid and died 18 days later. it was also germane logan who accompanied brown to meet harriet tubman. these leaders vouched for each other. they filled in for each other on the lecture circuit. the list of connections could go on and on. say a few pivotal actions took place outside of this black network. prompted questions about how others were doing in the movement, how their needs could be met. on a more personal level, they teased each other, asked about their health, their children, and their spouses. john brown made sure to meet with these influential leaders. totook his own son with him meet douglas, robert purvis, and
stephen smith in philadelphia. john brown was not just meeting with black leaders, he was meeting with black people with financial means and resources and experience with armed resistance. it was during his meetings that brown was meant toward and counsel. only through those relationships could round begin to -- could john brown begin to imagine his plan for slave abolition. one of his strongest allies, he believed, was harriet tubman. -- having made hundreds of trips to the south undetected to free slaves, tubman was no stranger to danger. she successfully rescued dozens of men, women, and children from bondage. she was known to have kept a pistol on her at all times and would not have hesitated to use it. she would not only threaten to shoot any pursuing person or dog or any of enslaved runaway that contemplated returning to the plantation. story after story, witnesses
testified to harriet tubman's believe in the utility of force. manng one rescue a protested that he was going to return to the plantation when success for their escape looked bleak. harriet tubman pointed her gun at his head and said you go on or you die. i just bought a t-shirt with face on it.an's students love it when i wear that shirt. the man in dirt and several days later the man arrived in canada. tubman was just the kind of woman john brown wanted. he enlisted her talents to aid his plan. while it is unclear how tubman and brown initially met, he knowledge to his desire to have her as a potential recruiter and a guide to help runaway slaves get to freedom in canada. in april of 1858, the two met at least twice to discuss
recruiting slaves to the harpers ferry plot. he believed her crucial knowledge of the terrain in maryland and pennsylvania would be necessary to conducting a successful attack. he gave her the highest compliment he could at the time. to harriet tubman as general tubman, sometimes using the pronoun he when referring to her. as backhanded as it sounds, equating her to a man was his way of technology her fearlessness. she agreed to support brown, but fortunately she was not in attendance at the raid. some historians speculate she felt ill prior to the raid. another contended harriet tubman might've been unavailable due to recruiting for the raid. -- also suggested hub and tubman may have started to see the raid as unwinnable. given the trauma she sustained in her youth, a combination of the two is possible.
say that thento one white person harriet tubman admired was john brown. she was not the only woman to feel this way. pleasant, a supporter of the underground railroad likely became john brown's greatest patron. pleasant built her wealth through her first husband, james smith, who was a wealthy flower contractor and abolitionist. when he died, he bequeathed his fortune to her and she continued her efforts to emancipate runaway slaves. she settled in san francisco with her second husband, john james pleasant to felt the california was a prime place for the underground railroad. usesant and her husband their resources to help african-americans find employments. garnered exceptional wealth and partnered with thomas bell in investing in lucrative as mrs.. pleasant was also known -- lucrative businesses.
helpingalso known for found the bank of california. she used her enormous financial resources to assist john brown as much as she could. when she traveled back to the east coast, she spoke with meeting with john brown in canada. she donated $30,000 to his cause. i put this in an inflation calculator, that is almost a million dollars. while almost -- while much of pleasant engagement with brown remains a mystery, in 1908 she gave an interview about her relationship with brown. upon john brown's capture a letter was found on his person, att read, the ax was found the root of the tree and after the first blow is struck there will be plenty more money coming, signed w e p. pleasant explained the letter and her involvement. she said i furnished the money
and wrote the letter. p but inls are am e signing my name i always made my m look like a w. i suppose that little mistake was all that saved me from being hung alongside john brown. sometimes i wish i'd had gone up on the scaffolding with him. for that, i at least would have died in a good cause and in good company. sloppy handwriting, her own initials through investigators off any trail. she elected not to confide in anyone about the planned ship made with john brown or the ways in which the money she donated was spent. after meeting with brown for one last time, pleasant left canada and met with a trusted man who took her along the roanoke river to recruit slaves for the raid. disguised as a jockey, pleasant and her companion began meeting with slaves at various
plantations to help incite an uprising. she stated the enslaved were ready and willing to engage in a revolt. and troopation gathering efforts were thwarted. she said our plans were all knocked to pieces by john brown himself. he began the raid before the agreed-upon time. pleasant was astounded when she had heard the raid had begun and ended so swiftly. had stakedon which i my money was a fiasco, lamented pleasant. she never understood while round begin the raid without the help of those who were pledged to help her and -- who were pledged to help. pleasant disguised yourself under a different name, going by alan smith, and managed to make
her way back home to san francisco without detection. attempted to expand on brown's relationship with have attempted to expand on brown's relationship with black women. these women did not hesitate to act. time and time again we see how black women cannot be separated from the telling and sanctioning of political violence. while pleasant cannot be the face of the rebellion, she could operate as the wallet of rebellion. how might the narrative of john brown's raid changed to know that was largely a black woman that made the rate possible. if brown's raid was the spark that led to the civil war, it could be argued that pleasant bought the matches. partners of harpers ferry were black women and also included annamarie douglas, the wife of frederick douglass, who
for one month hosted john brown while he sought haven from authorities regarding his act in missouri. the used her home again to begin planning for the raid. often times scholars will say john brown stated frederick douglass's home, when really women are running the house. this is anna's house, let us be clear. brown used her home again to begin planning for the raid. he even drafted his provisional constitution during the three weeks he adjourned with them in february. after brown's death, black women abolitionists raised money to letters ofwn's widow condolences and expressions of admiration for her fallen husband. a famous poet and chairman of the pennsylvania abolition society also sent gifts and one of her beloved poems, which she titled bury me in free land.
often coupled among the silent partners of brown was a desire for humility and anonymity. the ball was never to be seen as a martyr, but to eradicate slavery. freedom was its own reward. hanging,n brown's pleasant received one final letter from john brown. she destroyed it immediately. brown was earnest, a sincere man, and as brave as ever lived, she said, but he lacked judgment and was full hearty and cranky. he wrote too much and talk to much. later wrote that black americans trusted brown's heart that not his head. despite all of her wealth, pleasant understood no amount of money could shield her from consequences if captured by the authorities. she never regretted her involvement or the large sum of money she invested. she believed that while her
investment mayor been perceived as a failure, she sought as paving the way for the war and ultimately emancipation. feltlaimed that i always that john brown started the civil war and i helped round more than any other person financially. pleasant wished she had given more. her dying request was that her tombstone read she was a friend of john brown. it was this friendship that became her legacy. make no mistake, brown is not harpers ferry. move offerry was a collective black liberation. brown has been removed from the black struggle to represents violence in its totality. this continues to rob black abolitionists of their contributions and limits them to supporting roles as a way of enhancing white heroism. we can no longer afford to be shocked by african-american oral histories simply because they decenter whiteness or place too
much significance on the leadership of black americans. in short, black abolitionists gendered histories matter. to put women at the center of historical narratives is not inevitable. a hundred 50 years from today, how we credit the contributions of black women in their own freedom struggle? will we still credit black women as the founders of the black lives matter movement? years from today, will senator kamala harris become historical footnotes to senator cory booker? it is about cultivating a complete narrative. thank you. [applause] >> by the way, nicole wins the
prize for breast -- for best title in the talk, don't you think? prof. etcheson: what is the prize? thank you to all of you for sticking it out to the last session of the day. thanks to my old profession -- my old professor from indiana university, richard blackett. that was a long time ago. my son works with a lot of ohio state people so he has started indianag on the university. every semester the students to take my civil war class, i ask them why you are taking this class. the last year or so the answer is been because they perceive the country to be incredibly divided and they want to era where these
divisions let us in the civil war. -- ledus into civil war us into civil war. academic historian should be careful about making fast file -- making facile comparisons with the past, but i will make comparisons between the kansas civil war and the era of president trump. you have issues about voting frauds and elections. president trump has appointed a ther fraud panel and secretary of state of kansas and the secretary of state of indiana are on this panel. opponents of the president's initiative argue there's not much voter fraud, this is an effort at voter suppression. on the issue of kansas, there is no doubt there were voter irregularities.
kansas territory was established, as josh said, on the principle of popular sovereignty. senator stephen douglas enshrined up sovereignty into the kansas nebraska act. douglass said if there is anyone principle dearer and more sacred than all others, it is that which reserves the exclusive right of a free people to form and adopt their own fundamental law and regulate their own internal affairs and a institutions, meaning slavery. those in -- the most important early election at which these free people were to manage their domestic institutions was the election of the territorial legislature in marked -- in march of 1855. the territorial census showed 2905 voters. the proslavery candidates managed to win, racking up vote
totals of 5000 and 6000 votes. my son's response was the russians hacked this election? i said, no, the russians were busy in the crimean. there was an influx of missourians across the border on election day. why did the missourians do this? if we go back to the map, you can see they are right next door to kansas, so they expected to dominate the territory. secondly, there are no residency requirements. on the frontier, this was quite movel, if you're going to into a place, to go and vote there before you had settled. culture doeslavery not tolerate dissent. men, these missourians who came over
routinely held knives to the throats of northern settlers and said, are you really going to vote for the anti-slip -- for the anti-slavery candidates and so a lot of migrants from the midwest and new england did not vote in march of 1855. the new englanders and the midwesterners, who typically do not like each other, do not get me started on the new england we get an alliance between new englanders and midwesterners, they are both outraged at this fraud in 1855. this leads me to the secondary of commonality -- legitimate city -- legitimacy. when the proslavery party wins the election, the free stators say this is not a legitimate election, they refuse doing knowledge the legitimacy of the territorial legislature that has been elected.
we lose the idea of territorial kansas, as i feel today we have lost the idea of a loyal opposition, we disagree on policy but we are both loyal. they do not have that in kansas. said we have people who during the obama administration, he is a socialist, he is a muslim born in kenya, and we have people today who say trump is not my president. i am sorry, but he is president of the united states. and the trump voters who are dismissed as deplorables. two sides demonizing each other. this is a fundamental problem in territorial kansas. the northern settlers will form their own territorial governments, the two locales for this being to help you get and lawrence, as opposed to the launched inerritory
lecompton. government is backed by the federal government, the government elected in 1855. the proslavery movement calls itself the law and order movement. the free state movement is essentially an extralegal to --nt located in tempe and with supporters in lawrence. the clashes between these government are going to lead to the fighting in the summer of 1856 that we call bleeding kansas. one thing they had in 1856 that i am not sure we have today is that both free stators and proslavery men acknowledged the legitimacy of the federal government. have talked about, there is a lot of delegitimizing of national institutions -- the
federal government, the press, the judiciary. 1856 when the fighting is going on, the national ,overnment brings in john geary you see him later in his civil war uniform. he is a democrat from pennsylvania and he is brought before there order presidential election of 1856. the democrats can get reelected. he succeeds in doing that. gearyr, even after john restores order there is a strong push to make kansas a slave state in 1857. this happens even after the free stators have managed, through the election, to get control of the territorial legislature. because thet territorial officials finally cracked down on the fraud. thatast people to accept
kansas was going to be a free state were southern congressmen, who keep blocking kansas' admission to the union. pushing 1857 to 1858 to 1859. finally, when the southerner's from the union, when national legitimacy is falling apart, kansas finally gets to be a state. free state, in as a finally, in january of 1861. since the ever revolution have tended to see freedom as a woman. this is a kansas cartoon, the fair maid of kansas, it has stephen douglas on one side and various james buchanan officials. gender is the next area of commonality between our two eras.
election last year with the first female presidential nominee of a major party and her opponent who was caught on tape entering about sexual assault. -- caught on tape bantering about sexual assault. wast of the talk i heard trump could never get elected because women would not vote for him. in indiana 60% of white women did vote for him. you could tell women were not all that excited about hillary clinton when you had lori a steinem and madeleine albright falling over themselves to explain why young women were not enthused about hillary clinton. story to beomplex told about gender and the 2016 election, and i do not know that story, but i know the one about gender in the kansas civil war. free state rhetoric constantly talked about proslavery missourians as a threat to women. sara robinson, who wrote free state propaganda said in her
book on territorial kansas that proslavery men were attacking free state settlements, this was happening in 1855 in 1856, and she would say that the missourians are going to kill the men and save the women for a more bitter fate. there were isolated accounts in 1856 during the fighting in kansas of outrages against women , outrage being the 19th century term for sexual assault. but, missourians also went out of their way to be very toward women. in the winter of 1855 in 1856, the free state town of lawrence was under siege by proslavery border ruffians as the free stators call them, the missourians, and to get ammunition, they set -- they ant a couple of women and
nine-year-old boy in a buggy outside of town to get weapons. the women put the armaments under their skirts and road past the missourians, who said hello to the ladies out for a drive. the missourians weren't always attacking women. the kansas civil war was a war against the family. cody was a little boy near leavenworth kansas and his family were abolitionists after his father gave a speech opposing the spread of family -- of slavery into kansas -- they were not abolitionists. his father went into hiding and the family would be visited by missourians who terrorized the forced mary cody to
cook dinner for them. missouri,ater, in during the national civil war, kansas j hawkers, including eight grown-up bill cody will be doing the same -- including a grown-up bill cody will be due -- will be doing the same thing to women. just as the kansas civil war involved gender, it involved race. we have a resurgent civil rights movement, black lives matter, and a white working class, many of whom voted for mr. obama, who are unhappy about economic issues, who have voted for mr. trump. we have the tragedy in charlottesville, we had presidential attacks on football players kneeling, and we have had chief of staff kelly's remarks about robert e lee. we struggle to understand the role of race and slavery in kansas where there were not very
many slaves, about 190 in the territorial census. free stators were not opposed in opposing slavery, some were abolitionists, most were not. in the beliefied that popular sovereignty had been denied to them by the territorial fraud in that territorial election. sara robinson's husband charles is the leader of the free state movement, he gave a speech in lawrence on july 4 of 1855. subjects what are we, were slaves of missouri? we come to the celebration with our change -- with our chains clanking around our lambs. we must become slaves ourselves. proslavery men are using the same kind of rhetoric.
john calhoun, not the john calhoun, but the territorial official originally from illinois, told a law and order meeting, shell abolitionists rule you? no, never. give them all their demands and abolitionists -- abolition of because the law of the government. i would rather be a slave or a of russia thenr have abolitionists in power. sides see the threat as enslavement of themselves. begin usingicans this turmoil to their own effect. the namen missouri by of jim daniels found out his family was going to be broken up why sale. he went looking for john brown. he went looking for help and he got john brown, who helped the daniels and others escape. john brown is not a free state
or. he is the real deal. he is an abolitionist. much more typical is someone like a former democrat from indiana who migrated to kansas and became a free state leader along with charles robinson. lane was a racist to begin with. he made sure the free state government adopted indiana's black laws, discriminatory laws. , he returnedghting a missouri slave to his owner. lane goes on to become the first person to recruit black soldiers in the civil war. .e becomes an abolitionist he says later that it was in kansas that he learned that slavery was the root problem. i have spent my career arguing that jim lane and charles and
sara robinson are the real territorial kansans, the real free stators. llie is going to spend her life arguing about john brown, and we are going to lose. john brown is the figure everyone knows about when it comes to bleeding kansas. he was a crucial figure. he murders, or oversaw the murder of five proslavery settlers that helped set off the fighting. the harpers ferry raid polarized said,tion, and as kellie helps contribute to bringing on the civil war. when white southerners look at abraham lincoln, they are not able to distinguish his mildtionism from lincoln's anti-slavery position. is there someone today to play the role of john brown in bringing on the civil war?
i hope not. we are very divided, as we were in 1856 and as we were in 1861. appeal on his inauguration day seems fitting to me today -- we are not enemies but friends. we must not be enemies. the passion may have strained but must not break our bonds of affection. the mystic chords of memory stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land will yet swell the course of the union when again touched by the better angels of our nature. thank you. [applause] >> thank you.
i am very pleased to be here this afternoon. the last paper on the last panel and you are all still here. i appreciate that. me toyou for allowing talk about shocking events as opposed to moderating shocking events. i have plenty of shocking events to talk about. i'm going to be discussing material that comes from the book i will have coming out next september titled "the field of blood: congressional violence and the road to the civil war." the book explores physical violence in the house and senate between 1830 and 1860. in the years i have been working on this book i've discovered, and this is sort of a cheering -- most americans know something bad happened in congress at some point before the civil war. they do not know the name and they do not know the details, but they will kind of look at me
?nd say, wasn't there this guy there was this guy. they are talking about the caning of charles summer -- of charles sumner in 1856. a friend of sumner writing to him, wrote, that blood would flow, somebody's blood, either yours or wilson's or hails, before the expiration of your present on the floor of congress. that is a striking quote to me. person, a physical violence in congress was not a surprise. to some degree, he expected it. he called the floor of congress the field of blood. indeed, there was a lot of violence. between 1830 in 1860 there were at least 100 violent physical incidents between congressman. mean, dual i
negotiations, shoving and fistfights, people pulling knives and pistols on each other , fistfights, wild malays in the with menwild melees throwing punches and a few street fights with bricks and the occasional umbrella. most of this violence does not appear in the congressional record and this has to do with the nature of the washington press in this period and that is particularly true of the 1830's. in that period, the washington press consisted of a handful of men working for a handful of local washington newspapers who sat in the house and senate and scribbled notes and publish their accounts, not only in newspapers but also in spinoff publications that acted as the congressional record. the newspapers that these reporters worked for work unapologetically partisan.
washington newspapers were basically party organs that relied on lucrative government printing contracts for survival and congressman granted printing contracts. if you were a reporter, this meant you wanted to keep your party happy and make it look good, but you wanted to keep congressman from your party happy. this means that although the washington press played up the bravado of congressman, most of the violent details are left out. in the record. for example, sometimes you will see a sentence that says the debate became unpleasantly personal at one time during -- at one time. [laughter] freeman: you will see that one time one man pulled a gun on another man. there was asee sudden sensation in the corner. in that case congressmen flipped
over their desks in the case of having a fistfight. in the case of mass brawls with 20 or 30 men fighting, the fights to get mentioned in the record, very briefly described, sometimes with a nice little summing up. one of my favorites is this poetic reporter wrote, the house was like a heaving billow. to kind of give you a sense of what it looked like. when you look at that violence during that 30 year period, you see patterns. in the 1830's, much of the fighting was between men of different parties. whigs fighting democrats. over time that fighting becomes more sectional, centered on slavery questions. all of the's almost violence was northerners fighting southerners over slavery related questions. not surprisingly when you think about it, there were important
cultural distinctions between northerners and southerners in congress. southerners and southern born westerners, which is the way they were referred to, or the men who were most likely to be armed and most likely to provoke violence. in congressional lingo, such men were basically ready to back up their words with fists or weapons, were known as fighting men. on the other end of the congressional violence spectrum were men who were far less likely to engage in physical combat, were unarmed, they were known as noncombatants. indeed, congress was essentially divided into fighting men and noncombatants. who.e understood who was not surprisingly, this created an imbalance of power on the floor. fighting men, southerners and southern born westerners, sometimes used violence to get their way. that, whoutinely did
used violence as a strategically deployed political tool, were known as bullies and they were basically fighting men with a political agenda. this bullying had an impact. sometimes noncombatants would resign from committees when bullied. sometimes they simply chose not to pipe up and object to a southerner if they assumed there might be a dire outcome. if they did take that risk, they risked what happened to one democratic congressman in the 1840's who insisted that john quincy adams had the right to have a say on a slavery petition , which was a dangerous thing to do. stockedana congressman over to the democrat and threatened to cut his throat from your to do your -- from ear-to-year -- from ear to and pulled out his knife to show that he could do the job if he wanted to. congressman felt compelled to stand up for themselves, but
also felt there constituents would disapprove of having their or duel,ative brawl which is seen as a disreputable southern practice. southerners had an aunt vantage of power on the floor. they had an advantage of number, they had a cultural advantage through violence. this brings us to the 1850's because of the arrival of the republican party in congress, which dramatically changed that dynamic. we have heard several times about the ways in which the new republican party used the idea of a slave power to advertise their cause, claiming as a party they were dedicated to battling the slave power that controlled the federal government. when you ignore knowledge the presence of routine slaveholder violence in congress, you see a slave power. republicans who are supposedly dedicated to fighting the slave power found themselves
face-to-face with a slave power in person and many of them did with a promise to do -- they fought. some came to washington armed, many of them declared themselves in debate, willing to fight. again and again during debate, republicans rose to their feet and insisted they were a new kind of northerner, a northerner with consent to fight. they were rewarded by their constituents for doing so. some northerners sent weapons to their congressman during these years. a striking example is in late 1856 when there is a massachusetts congressman who was at home and he was on his way back to washington and a bunch of his constituents met him at the train station and gave him a gift. the gift was a revolver in scribed with the words free speech. that always next the hair on the back of my neck stand up. this leads me to a final point i want to make in the brief amount
of time i have left. a number of issues and concerns mustered together in the 1850's to make congressional violence specifically and national politics generally become far more contentious. havejust suggested, you concerns over the boundaries of free speech centered on the question of whether or not slavery can be discussed in congress or was that kind of discussion going to be silenced by southerners. you had extreme polarization between north and south with two different views of what the american nation and constitutional order was supposed to be. the national party splintering and a new party forming. you have rampant distrust in the power of national institutions, including party systems as well as institutions of government, to rein in violence and govern in resolve the nations problems. you have rampant distrust by people on both sides of the political divide, each in the
other. in the late 1850's, the vast majority of congressman were armed, not because they wanted others, buttheir because they were afraid they would need to protect themselves from that sectional other. when congressman wondered if there sectional opponents were on the cusp of a massive attack, that represents a grievous political breakdown in the nations political infrastructure as well as in its sense of civic consensus. a newy, you add technology, the telegraph, politicalextreme rhetoric throughout the nation with ever-growing speed and reach great yet a more sensationalistic news style playing up conspiracy theories and polarizing arguments. think about what i just said -- extreme polarization. fundamental biz agreement the constitution and the nation's values. splintering political parties.
free speech. rampant distrust in political institutions and americans distrusting each other's and a new technology and a newly sensationalist news reportage. i am not going to walk into parallel territory, but there is a remarkable -- heaven forbid. obviously, there is a confluence of factors we are seeing in our period and in this period. those are not the only two periods were that grouping of factors gets ganged up in that way. the 1790's is another such period and i am not a 20th century historian, so i will let somebody else argue this, that i've think the 1960's you could say was similar. what we are talking about is a pattern, a repeated pattern, a confluence of factors that raises interesting questions about what might be a spectrum of democratic politics. thank you very much.
[applause] >> joanne, you never disappoint. i have a lot of questions but i'm going to be quiet. who is first. where are the microphones? who is first? these events, any other event. polarization. john brown. the fugitive slave act. who is up? who is first? >> i have a question for kellie, your presentation was dazzling. i want to hear about the research process, are you found the story that has been underappreciated and not well understood? jackson: i heard the story
of mary pleasant twice. once was on an episode of drunken history, where i was like, really? and then i followed up because i was like this cannot be true. then i read the book, the making pleasant. she hated that moniker. she is also mentioned in a lot of books about californian entrepreneurship. story andseeing this following up on it and following up on the fact that there are so many books written about john brown -- volumes. yet, she is rarely mentioned, or she is a footnote or a one-liner. me, it just seems like the most appropriate time to revamp her in a way that centers her more instead of making her this person who helps, but also a
person who is central to the telling of the story of the black freedom struggle. that is how i found out about her. this chapter that i have, the second last chapter of my book talks about d centering john brown away from harpers ferry and focusing on the other people who contributed to that moment in a significant way. yes, sir? i have a comments trying to bridge joanne's and richard's papers. the culture clash playing out on the floor of congress is playing out every time slave catchers come to the north. they are behaving with a style of violence that northern communities find to be profoundly alienating. i do see parallels today as well, when we look at things like the open carry movement
that seems normative in some places and profoundly shocking and alienating in other places. it strikes me that there is a way in which different cultures of violence can put political alienation on a fast track. i will agree with that, basically. thank you. i will agree with that, partly sidese a keyword -- both use it about the other in one way or the other. the word they use his degradation, which is related to what you are saying. it is not that there are different cultures of violence, but it is the impact of being a victim of that or a victim of the judgment cast upon that. in this period, that is something you see. >> can i say something to that point?
morning you had your proslavery people and anti-slavery people. i would argue the whole spectrum -- what really angers a lot of hoosiers about the fugitive slave law are not the rights of african-americans, but it is damn kentuckians coming up and interfering in places like south bend where there is a relit -- where there is a resistance to the recovery of fugitives. >> i do not know what much i can add to that except to say that in almostance comes all of the cases, from the black community. that is where it starts. it spins out to the wider community amongst portions of anti-slavery and opponents of the fugitive slave law.
if you want to look at the sort of violence and resistance, it is what people consider outsiders coming into their community and they say than -- they see the need to defend it and the people who live there. these are people they know and some people they do not know. the mere fact that somebody from outside could come in and do something like that raises the stakes. issues weok at these have to look at what i call the politics of's tail. the -- the politics of scale. we have to look at what is happening to appreciate the range of issues and how these things ripple outwards to the wider community. then we begin to see things differently. richard, while we have you on could you reflect a little more for this audience on ,ow the research you have done
particularly these local cases has or has not changed how you think yourself about this idea of the underground railroad? blackett: you're asking me to attack the blue haired ladies. [laughter] >> i did not say that. blackett: yes you are. one of the things that drove me and took me so long is how do you get to an understanding of what people think about freedom who left no records? that is starting from the bottom. the only way i can do it is to follow the lead of an -- heectual that comes says what you have to do --
people's conception of freedom has to be found in the things that they do. to understand the things they'd do and that the fugitive slaves , you have to tell the story as much as possible of the lives. it becomes absolutely critical in trying to piece together their stories. this book is full of unconnected stories. it is a kind of anarchy book. it aims at trying to tell the stories of those individuals, not only who decided to run away, but how they resisted efforts to retake them. isthe center of all of this what the runaway slaves actually did. every chapter of the book starts with somebody who runs away. say, anywhere that slavery existed, there were runaway slaves. why we have not paid more
attention to what they did is one of the aims of the book. i think in that way we might be view of howge our they affected the politics of the time, as you are talking about this morning, and what possible effect that had on the coming of the civil war. i know everybody's book has to coming of the civil war." i fought with my editors, i said that phrase is not going to be in my book, but please do not put my phrase. mingybody's book has "the co of the civil war." the title of the book has a different phrase. "the politics of slavery." i think that is the critical
issue. whether it had any effect on the coming of the civil war? eh? [laughter] >> you did more mining of newspapers -- >> that his younger way you understand what happened locally. only way youe understand what happened locally. >> here's a question for joanne. i'm interested in the point you make about the 1850's being an era in which there was massive distrust of american politics. i've been thinking about the effect that kind of anti-political sentiment has played into the historiography that we all deal with over the last 20 or 30 years, the distrust of politics and political history and that sort of thing. i am wondering how you measure .istrust
there is another body of scholarship that says this was a politics which popular was a form of popular culture, the voter participation rates are reaching historical highs, 80% or 85% in the north and the 1850's, i'm not sure that the problem is mistrust of politics, maybe we are going back to the revisionist argument that there politics, and excess of democracy. the saying that argument of excess of democracy is based on the fact that there is widespread assumption that ultimately these issues have to be played out and dealt with in politics. freeman: that is a great question. i do not see in either/or. when i talk about distrust, in my book asi do i talk about the emotional logic.
that is the ways in which people breakingr way toward away, which had a huge emotional impact. the distrust that i see, and it is part of why everyone arms, little by little, they are writing -- congressmen are writing to each other and writing back home that they all have guns because they do not know what that other side is going to do. despite the fact that there are cross-sectional friendships, the issue feel so fraught and so extreme, i think people honestly do not know what the other side is going to do and i think that underlying fear leads to a basic level of distrust area that despite the fact that they are showing up, but if you get up in the morning and strap on a gun and head into the house wondering if you are going to day, that ist that
a level of distrust in national institutions and the other side that is pretty striking. >> jeff, i think you are next and kate appear in the front. >> i have a question for -- >> ok, thanks. >> yes, thanks. i have a question for richard cohen. the reference about congressman carrying guns and not carrying guns on the floor, that there and this was a feeling of uncertainty and insecurity. what you think of an armed insurgency and whether you have -- in your book -- whether you referred to any local armed
eight. in the reason she was wearing eight dresses -- she has taken her possession and people are armed. there are people arms. when people are confronted in the northern states, invariably, there is some element of violence. >> yes, i hear you. i think it is admirable no one in the north tried to harm people who were still enslaved to create an insurgency and the south. no one had an idea -- >> yes. something we have just begun to understand. the people who went into the
southern states to entice people to escape. there's lots of that, blacks and whites, crazy people. you have to get somebody out. harriet tubman, of course, the same case. there's a wonderful case -- the fugitive slave, he has come before the commissioner and he goes before the judge and all of the reports say there is this weird old woman running around trying to get people to resist and who do you think it turned out to be? old harriet tubman. and they never tell you it is harriet tubman until the very end. it's sort of a dramatic representation.
they beat her. she was not there because she just happened to be passing through on the way to massachusetts and she heard about this and she got involved. that's the kind of politics that interests me. that is different from the legislative stuff. >> if i could add to that, there are slaves to get to freedom, who get to canada. they experience freedom and say, i cannot enjoy freedom without my sister, and he goes all the sister andets his goes back without using the underground railroad. like, youionists are know we have a network, right? [laughter]
>> he could not continue unless he did it the way he wanted to, which was with his family. >> we do not know how many they avoidpe because the underground railroad. >> go ahead. >> the first thing this morning on national politics and party , there are a lot of things between parties on the national level. that change the politics, particularly i was struck by two things? there's the spectrum are reasons actefuse the fugitive slave , not necessarily to hew to party lines and the free stators were not necessarily in favor of the prohibition of slavery, but
they were in favor of popular sovereignty. how does this play at the local level and in politics generally? >> two things. my professor back at indiana university -- not richard. fault.not richard's we learned that people were partisan. and there was on marshall who becomes governor. woodrow wilson's vice president. he was the governor of indiana before that and he remembers during the civil war as a child, church said of his you guys are democrats or you will have to convert to the republican party or you cannot come to church and he says that his father said he would take
chances on hell, but not on the republican party. so this died in the wool dyed in the will partisanship, when i researched my book, people were changing parties all through the 1850's. there were democrats who became republicans who became know nothings. the political scientists may know better than i do be state of the legislature, but it seems that party loyalty was a lot more fluid than i had thought or been led to believe. , in addition to , jimpectrum of believe langevin comes to campus as a racist. they came to get a farm. they do not come singing songs
about saving kansas. what happens in this shock of events over the 1850's is a radicalization. first, you get the fugitive slave law. then they get territories that were supposed to be free and open them to slavery. then you get the buchanan administration, the dred scott decision who say, no, you can have freedom in the territories anyway. there is this whole decade where be slave power seems to they are and radicalizing not just the settlers and the kansas -- watchingut the them get beat up in the senate is causing northerners to say --
as i argue in my book -- it's not just slavery, which is a moral evil or wrong, but even if you did not believe that, there is the fact that they are trying to make free northerners except slavery and lincoln says in his house divided speech, we are going to go to bed and wake up that therning and find supreme court has made this a slave state. in that radicalized as people over time. >> i thought it wasn't a slave state? [laughter] they have discriminatory laws. but it is not a slave state yet. that greatnd of story is, of course, hundreds of thousands of white yankees who end up in the army in the war
believing they have to fight to destroy slavery, which 10 years below -- 10 years before -- >> if i can add to that, one thing that happens for a lot of white northerners during the civil war is they go down south and it they will write home. uncle tom's cabin is right. they see people who have scars. they see light-skinned children. miscegenation. it's real. >> the guards talk about how they see the characters in uncle tom's cabin. anyway -- question, i think, was prompted by joanne's talk. there is that kind of political violence in american history in particular.
this is more like a democracy where we have transitions of power. and the civil war is the great exception to that. up you have the lead characterized by a lot of violence. bigthat has not meant a re-staking of the nature of american democracy or liberalism , i guess you could also say. i just wanted to invite you -- and i am coming at this as someone who has traditionally worked on reconstruction where that story is not just like the civil war ended and went back to some idea of consensual democracy and the free exercise of rights of voting. there is co-version everywhere. i just want to invite you to do you see-- implications of violence in this history so we can look at the
broader relationship between violence in american democracy? >> the first thing that comes to mind, i guess, along the lines that you are asking, it's not like there is the time when there is not violence, right? the distinctive thing about it is it appears to be fair fighting. basically by end to the fact that they have fair representation that people can engage in dialogue which some of them believe, some of they don't. but for a while, there is the politicst fighting and are melded together, but there is some agreement in congress that fighting must be fair and .here are rules
if two men are fighting and neither one is armed, you let them go. it's fair. where he goesase back to work and he thinks that one of them has a weapon. if he pulls the weapon it becomes an unfair fight. think ofe do tend to politics or violence. i do not think it's either/or. the question comes again, the nature of the violence, the .ynamic of the violence the traditions of violence and how that changes over time. >> i think joann is absolutely right that there is that distinction. there is a congressional investigation and missouri's
defenses this is what you do -- defense is this is what you do. you get drunk and beat people up. this is what we did in kentucky when we lived in kentucky. and the new englander -- [laughter] englanders expressed shock that there should be bullied knives. i think the elections may be less rowdy than the kentucky -missouri frontier elections, but there's a certain amount of disingenuousness because the new englanders and the free stators want to be the injured party. we have never heard of such andgs in elections, basically it could have been another rowdy frontier election if the numbers had not been so out of sync. too skewedt with too,
a ratio and the whole nation watching. think i am rethinking violence a little bit and a lot of black leaders have talked about slavery is violence. black people are the most vulnerable to the brunt of that violence. in even -- i think it's at the kelly -- she has this great quote where she says we have wereat war ever since we put in bondage. the war has been ongoing since the first person was in slave. -- was enslaved. looking at political violence and how we examine slavery as violence -- a lot of these cases, it's not so much free labor. it's anti-blackness and not wanting black people in the territory, not wanting black
people around them. when looking at how slavery is violence, it gives a new dimension talking about abolition, our black leaders well within their rights to retaliate? all of these arguments become getnsely important as we closer to the civil war. the violence is much more on the table. the violence has always been on the table. >> [indiscernible] [laughter] .> that is some fable the lastght, you get question. >> is this one on? i have a question for joann, but i think it is outward.
folks out there afraid of the sectional other and i wondered if you could speak to why? the if it started with southerners. the virginia planters were very -- vehement about slavery. initially they were, slavery is a necessary evil. by the 1820's, they were, like, no, we need this. this is good. what were the reasons behind the fear of the sectional other? self? isgin with the it tied to the fact that by the time we get to the 1830's southerners become convinced with the cotton boom that they have a really superior
civilization and economy and they could be funded because of the world market for cotton. fears that are associated with resident slaveowners which is said they would be killed -- runaway slaves in slave societies but when you are a resident planter, you are afraid you were going to die if there is a slave rebellion. can you speak more to the fears, especially on the part of the south? and also the north because with the mobilization around the fugitive slave issue, my suspicion is only a small number of northerners were really genuinely motivated by this, and were motivateds
by other things and there is whiteness, which comes through the rest of this. and when we come to this issue mypolitical alignment, suspicion is they are not willing to fight a war. course, economic development and that -- this is a multipart question, but reasons for the fear -- is it tied up with the massive explosion of wealth in the south? that it ishe sense diluted in whiteness, but tied to wealth? >> i will do my best. i can only answer part of that. is the the short answer
sort of real fear of the partonal other is partly of the 1850's and what is different is part of the dynamic shift. before that point, there is an assumption things will percolate along. violence ask at the an indicator, the violence does this the avril debate does -- i think what happens is the dynamic of politics on a national level, congressional level shifts, and at that point there is really a fear. ?hat are they going to do
language becomes harder for people to communicate at that there is -- at that point. there's a remarkable letter i found at the library of congress, and he says, look, i felt the need to tell you that our side of the house, it's going to take one missile thrown from your side for us to a wrapped in violence and missile meaning the wrong word. what she missiles. don't launch any from your side because i can't control what is going to happen here. -- watch the missiles. that is what is happening on a guttural level when i talk about the sectional other. there is such a fundamental disagreement and such a sense of -- not just fraud, but getting to do or die nest. it feels like it is going to
spend out of control and communication breaks down. that's part of what i meant by sectional other. >> we heard a lot this morning about conspiracy theory and the , andh of mutual conspiracy that does grow with time. >> even insiders. my book has a sort of guide. an insider who is a clerk. and he thinks preston brooks is a ok. but -- he thinks preston brooks is a-ok. he says, i never really thought there was a slave power. but maybe there was a plot.
if you think that from the thede it really does show power, too. >> it is a conspiracy theory. you look at stevens and franklin and roger and james. you get the nebraska act and dread scott. he is laying out -- and dred sco tt. you make fun today of the conspiracy there is to think hillary clinton is running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor, lincoln was a conspiracy theorists. not leave in pizza parlors -- >> no, he didn't. he was not a crazy conspiracy there was -- conspiracy theorist. is the theory about john brown and abraham lincoln as a plot to abolition eyes -- the south.e
if you are the white southerners, lincoln as part of that. -- is part of that. >> ok. least think this panel. -- please think this panel. ,ne minute before i let you go i am giving you an assignment. get ready. keep making your list of parallels. test it out tomorrow. keep making your list of higher law issues where you can draw a line even today. if you believe in any way and higher law -- in higher law, what is your list? thirdly,your line? and keep making abolitionist jokes. with got a good one. do you need the mic? do it right here.
get right here. actually comes in 1858 and it is john rock. some of you may remember his speech. when they aretime gearing up for war in the black community and in other places, too low. they already started forming militia movements. it's a christmas attics celebration that lakhs of been accused of being cowards because if they were not cowards, -- have beenlacks accused of being cowards because if they were not cowards they would not allow them to to be enslaved. endow thether nature black people with rich color and find features and attractive
hair. he says by the time she got to white people, she was pretty well exhausted. but she did the best she could with what she had, so she made them with these pinched features and lank hair, but that was all she could do at the time. >> thank you. thank you for coming. see you tomorrow. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3 -- tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on "lectures in history," the lead up to the american revolution. >> we will have a tax on things the colonists import. and we will, tea, collected at the ports. no one else has to be bothered. that's that. big surprise.
more outrage, more anger, more fear. "assignmentfilm iran." >> he learns techniques to sustain himself in an arctic wasteland or a jungle. adjust or die. >> and at 6:00 on "american artifacts," a museum set to open next year. >> benjamin franklin and arthur lee have conducted these two treaties and this treaty of commerce was essential in granting france most favored nation trading status and the french were very excited about being able to get in to that economic trading war with great britain after the war was over and this treaty would remain in
effect for several years afterward. >> american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. >> be c-span bus continues its capitals tour this month. visit, we will speak with state officials. join us for our stops in raleigh, north carolina where our washington journal guest will be attorney general josh stein. >> 50 years ago on april 4, 1968, dr. martin luther king jr. was assassinated at the lorraine motel in memphis, tennessee. bookshelf,tory's tavis smiley talks about his of a king.
the talkshow host argues that king's last year was marked by condemnation by the black middle class and the political far left is will is the media and president lyndon johnson. this was recorded at the national civil rights museum in 2014. it's about an hour and 20 minutes. tab is is the host of a late-night television show i pbs. authored and co-authored 16 books. 16 books. said wene point, they could not write or read, huh? i think they were quite wrong about that. i have read several of them and this one i know is going to be his most pensive,